There are many ways to reinforce physical coding and applied robotics during this holiday season. You can use these winter wonderland ideas as morning warm-ups or for Friday free time, or you can create rotation stations to tackle them all at once during a classroom celebration. Pick and choose your favorites, or try them all!
It’s Time for a Holiday Bash!
The month of December is ripe for classroom celebrations, beginning with the Hour of Code, December 3-9. Check out our printable Winter WONDERland packets, 50+ pages (yes, f-i-f-t-y pages) of offline and online activities. Go to www.makewonder.com/hourofcode for activities, promotions, a webinar, and a Dancing with the Robots contest — say what?
Dancing with the Robots
You heard it correctly! We will be awarding a mirrorball Dash to our favorite dancing robots video. Simply post a video of your robots dancing solo, in a group, or with your students to Twitter @WonderWorkshop with the hashtags #FunWithWonder and #HourofCode. We will pick a Dancing with the Robots winner on New Year’s Day. Read more about December’s video contest here.
Check out this rendition of “Carol of the Bells,” shared last year by one of our #WonderLeague coaches from Estonia. We get chills every time! How can your students harmonize along with the robots on their favorite song? Or would they rather record their voices so that Dash, Dot, and Cue can take center stage?
Robots on Parade
Our robots love to transform into falloons and balloonicles (yes, those are words!). Check out our brand-new @Nearpod lesson plan on re-creating the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and simply adapt it for a winter or holiday-themed parade!
The Olympics may not be for another year, but there’s no time like the present to practice, practice. Check out a series of activities — from playing the theme song to competing in curling, skating, slalom, ice hockey, bobsledding, and the biathlon — in our Introducing the Newest Olympians blog article.
Draw some (masking tape) lines and take sides! Use the ever-popular Launcher to toss snowballs of different materials — crumpled paper or foil, cotton balls, Ping Pong balls. Determine a point system based on hitting targets of different sizes and from various distances.
Feeling crafty? Knit one, purl two to make Dash, Dot, and Cue a cozy winter hat. Robots get cold too, you know!
With some simple colored beads and a pipe cleaner, you can introduce the binary alphabet! Have students code their names or a winter-related spelling word. Use this ASCII Binary Alphabet PDF to get started. Then loop the pipe cleaner to make an ornament or bend it to form a candy cane!
Create a holiday tree shape or a dreidel shape on the floor with masking tape. Ask students to use Go, Path, Blockly, or Wonder to move Dash along the tree’s or dreidel’s outline.
Bring On the Carols!
Music is a natural way to teach coding. Program Dash to play a holiday song using Xylo and the xylophone. Try a simple version of “Jingle Bells” (here’s another video example). Think of moves and spins that might accompany the tunes. Remember, you can sync up five Dash robots to one device to create a marching band! And we hadn’t heard of this holiday robot song before!
Snow Patrol Time
Have Dash use the Bulldozer attachment to push piles of cotton balls (check out the video instructions). Students can build their own attachment with simple DIY materials, too.
Hold a holiday pageant (see video), where participants dress up in their best winter outfits and answer pageant questions. Ask students to first program their robots with one noun response, an -ing verb response, and a location response. Then surprise the contestants with questions like:
- What is your favorite piece of winter attire?
- Which winter sport do you excel at?
- Where would you like to travel once spring comes?
And who doesn’t like a yummy snack? Riff off of this clever robot snack by using milk bottles to make a snowman, a red Hershey’s kiss as a Santa’s hat, or pretzels as reindeer antlers!
The Dash & Dot Show
Then watch this holiday episode of the Dash & Dot Show. Find more episodes in our YouTube playlist.
Want Even More?
What other holiday ideas can you come up with?
- Can you create your own version of the poem, “The Night Before Christmas”? See this creative programmer’s twist. Or have Dash, Dot, or Cue recite your original poem about coding and robots in an A, B, C, B rhyme scheme.
- Can Dash use the Launcher to help Santa deliver gifts down a chimney? Create chimneys (think tall boxes!) of different heights and widths. Or use the Bulldozer to push gifts to different locales.
- Can Dash turn into Rudolph and tow a sleigh carrying Dot?
- Can Dot, Dash, or Cue tell the story of Hanukkah candles, complete with recordings and blinking eye patterns?
- Can you wrap Dash or Cue in a dreidel outfit and let it spin?
- What mischief can Dash and Elf on a Shelf get into? https://twitter.com/Roosloan/status/806126796441845760
Share your winter WONDER-land ideas with us and tag us @WonderWorkshop on Twitter.